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Zero Waste Challenge participants

Welcome, Zero Waste Challenge participants!

This page contains helpful information and resources for you on your low-waste journey.

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Tips and tricks for a low-waste lifestyle

The zero waste guide includes information about many actions you can take to reduce waste.

The guide starts by focusing on getting as much waste our of your trash can through recycling, donation and proper disposal. The guide then digs into preventing waste in the first place. Tips for creating a low-waste and environmentally friendly lifestyle, worksheets for setting goals and conducting waste audits, recipes for making less waste products, and additional resources are also included.

You can either download the entire zero waste guide (PDF) or choose the sections of interest to you below.

Getting started: diverting waste

The first phase of becoming a zero-waste household is to take a look at what you're throwing away and get everything possible out of your trash can. That's why the first section provides details about diverting as much of your waste as possible to recycling, composting, organics recycling, donation and reselling goods, and properly disposing of hazardous wastes.

Reducing waste

The second step is to think about waste you could prevent in the first place, remembering that not creating waste in the first place is better than recycling it. This sections goes room by room, including the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, home office and garage as well as exploring the topics of kids, pets, travel, cleaning, remodeling and hosting gatherings.

Zero-waste lifestyle

The third section includes more advanced tips on creating a low-waste and environmentally friendly lifestyle that go beyond focusing on waste.

Worksheets

Recipes

References and additional resources

About the workshops

Households are required to attend at least four of the six monthly virtual workshops during the Zero Waste Challenge.

Workshops are led by Hennepin County staff and are an opportunity to learn more about waste reduction topics, have discussions with other participating households, and get your questions answered.

All workshops will be offered on Microsoft Teams. To join, click the Microsoft Teams link during the workshop times. Download the Microsoft Teams app for the best experience, otherwise you can join on the web or by phone at 612-263-6117, conference ID: 384 567 487#.

The following workshop topics will be offered each month. Each topic will be offered twice during the month. Let your liaison know which dates you plan to attend.

Recordings of past workshops

See the Zero Waste Challenge workshops YouTube playlist for recordings of past webinars.

Recorded webinars currently available:

  • December: Low-waste celebrating and gift giving
  • January: Grocery shopping for less waste
  • February: Food waste reduction
  • March: Low-waste cleaning and personal care products

Upcoming workshops

April: Backyard composting and worm composting 

Thursday, April 8 from 6 to 7 p.m. 

Learn how to compost at home! This course will cover backyard composting, from setting up the bin to troubleshooting issues with your pile. We will also include a section on vermicomposting, or composting indoors with the help of worms.

April: Decluttering

  • Saturday, April 10 from 10 to 11 a.m. 
  • Friday, April 16 from noon to 1 p.m.

May: Final celebration

Saturday, May 22 from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

In May, we will host a final celebration and challenge wrap-up for all households.  

Fix-It Clinics

Learn how to troubleshoot and repair your household goods with guided assistance from handy volunteers We look forward to holding in-person Fix-It Clinics again when we can, but in the meantime, we are offering one-on-one virtual repair sessions with our Fix-It Clinic volunteers. 

See the Fix-It Clinics web page for more information.

Hazardous waste collection events

Hennepin County holds collection events seasonally between May and October on weekends at locations throughout the county to provide more convenient disposal options.

See the schedule of upcoming hazardous waste collection events.

The Zero Waste Update is an email newsletter sent about every two weeks that includes Zero Waste Challenge program updates, upcoming workshops, and an article that digs into a zero waste topic or experience. Sign up for the Zero Waste Update.

Past editions

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